International travel. Fast cars. Five-star luxury. Exotic locations. It’s no wonder that so many people wish they were living the life of James Bond. With his penchant for indulgent spending, expensive tastes and top of the range technology, James Bond epitomises a lifestyle that many of us can only dream of. Or does he?
In fact, it may actually be easier than you think to achieve a James Bond lifestyle without the James Bond price tag. It’s all about knowing where to go and what to look for. Ok, so your finances might not allow for private jets and flying cars, but even the strictest of budgets can achieve secret agent luxury. Here’s how.
Location, location, location
For an authentic Bond experience, it doesn’t get any better than heading to some of the most famous film locations. If you love the old-world charm of the early Bond films, head to Antibes in France, where Diamonds are Forever was filmed in 1971. Located on the French Riviera, this beautiful Mediterranean city offers incredible views of the sea and will be the perfect backdrop to your Bond love story.
Meanwhile, modern Bond fans will love Istanbul in Turkey, where the recent Skyfall was filmed. After spending a day or two exploring the vast ancient city, would-be secret agents can kick back and relax in the Ciragan Palace Kempinski Istanbul while soaking up the Bond-style décor and luxury.
Food fit for a king
Even an international spy needs to eat at some point, naturally Bond dined at some of the most luxurious establishments in the world. With its stunning panoramas, sophisticated gourmet food and gorgeous wines, Restaurant ice Q in Sölden was the natural choice for the filming of the Spectre movie. Located at 3,048 meters above sea level, it is Austria’s highest located, toque-rated gourmet restaurant.
Another high-altitude Bond location is the Piz Gloria, where you can taste an authentic “shaken, not stirred” martini in the James Bond bar as the restaurant revolves 360° to give you the best panoramic views. Located on the Schilthorn, a 2,970-metre-high summit in Switzerland, the restaurant was the backdrop for many of the scenes in On Her Majesty’s Service in 1969.
Sleeping in style
When it comes to sleeping, Bond only ever chose the very best hotels. The 1997 film, Tomorrow Never Dies saw Bond stay at the Atlantic Kempinski in Hamburg, Germany. Although the interior scenes for Bond’s hotel room were shot at the Stoke Pages Golf Club near London, the remaining exterior scenes were filmed at this historic five-star location. 007 is seen stepping out onto the balcony of the Atlantic Suite after disposing of the traitorous Dr. Kaufman.
For a truly remarkable location, head to the European Organisation for Astronomical Research observatory in the Atacama Desert, Chile. The desolate landscape and innovative architecture were the backdrop for the recent film Quantum of Solace and provide the ultimate stargazing experience for any 007 fanatics.
A quick flutter
No James Bond trip would be complete without a visit to a five-star casino, particularly for a spin on the roulette table. The roulette table features heavily in the original James Bond novels written by Ian Fleming. The first-ever novel, Casino Royale, opens with Bond trying his hand at the popular game in the glamorous Casino de Monte Carlo. The casino has also been the location for a number of James Bond movies, including Never Say Never Again and GoldenEye.
But Monte Carlo isn’t the only Bond favourite when it comes to rolling the dice. The modern day big screen adaptation of Casino Royale was partly filmed in the dazzling Atlantis Casino on Paradise Island in the Bahamas. Bond fans should also pay a visit to the One and Only Ocean Club, also on Paradise Island, where James Bond hunts down a game of poker in the same film.
As you can see, traveling like James Bond is not as tricky as it sounds! Though we can’t guarantee that you will end up as suave as the international secret agent, it’s safe to say that you will have a truly memorable time.